journey into the wilderness

I am reading Diary of a Wilderness Dweller by Chris Czajkowski. Infact, I am reading Untie the Strong Woman by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, but am surprised to find myself disappointed by it. Diary of a Wilderness Dweller, however, is a charming, fascinating, tender-hearted read. Chris is (at the time of writing) a 37 year old woman who treks deep into a wild land and proceeds to make a life and a living for herself there.

I have myself when younger gone to live alone, other than the company of my dear black cat, in the lovely, lonely wilderness. My house was a tumbledown dream of a house, crowded with ghosts. The smell of age was so heavy and rich throughout its rambling, crooked rooms, I can still scent it now, almost thirty years later. Outside my front door was the ocean, coiling endlessly against rocks. Outside my back door was forest, growing heavy and tangled from rocks. This was a place not only wild in its body but in its spirit too. I was too young to be there. Now, I can look back and appreciate more the opportunity of feral inspiration which I had. But now, I would not want to be there again - not so much because of the loneliness, but the rocks. The too-much stuckness in one place at the outermost rim of the world, so all your horizons are rock, ocean, forest.

And yet, reading Chris' lyrical memoir, I am reminded of the joy and beauty which can be achieved by going into an inner wilderness.

The quiet, untouched spaces of your own soul.

I'm not one for meditation, but I'll happily clamber soul-dreamt mountains, and stand high inside myself, letting a sunlit breeze go through me. I'll listen for ages to the little songs, whispers, and murmurings that tremble through supposed silence. (For really, is there ever a true silence, and could we ever think that natural?)

Would you travel to the untamed heartlands of our world to be alone? Would you travel into yourself that far? And if you did, what would you wish for ... mountains baring the old bones of the world to the fascination of the sky ... ancient communities of pine and birch ... sumptuous meadows ... an unexpected ocean surrounded by golden sands and golden flowers ... ?

What quiet songs would you hear there?



5 comments:

  1. Forest. I do love trees. And no, I wouldn't mind one bit, I have a yearning to be alone more and more in fact.

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  2. I like the forest too, but I also love to sit by a quiet lake. I am not sure how much time I could spend alone, but I do like to have some time by myself.

    I was disappointed in Untie the Strong Woman too. But then it must be hard to top "Women Who Run WIth The Wolves." I am going to write down your current recommendation and give it a look when I am finished "Wild." (thank you, by the way for mentioning that book.)

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  3. Thank you both for the conversation :-)

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  4. thank you for sharing this book, this bit of it as well.
    your writing is also beautiful.
    the inside realm and the wilderness realm of our world.
    i live in a wee cabin in the woods, with meadows and the untamed animals of the NW. I can relate to both realms that you share.

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  5. "but I'll happily clamber soul-dreamt mountains, and stand high inside myself, letting a sunlit breeze go through me. I'll listen for ages to the little songs, whispers, and murmurings that tremble through supposed silence. (For really, is there ever a true silence, and could we ever think that natural?)" So beautiful, so true...you've put into words what I haven't been able to when I try to describe what I slip into many times each day and call "meditation" for lack of better words. Thank you for giving me some. And I want you to know how breath-taking many of your photographs have been...this dratted slow internet connection and my own continued quiet making me reluctant to tell you how much I am appreciating them...and your words...as often as I would like. xo

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